• Appointment of surveyors


    'Appointment of surveyors' is an often-heard term. 'Lloyd's agents' is another. But the trade in coffee is increasingly specialized, and the burden of proof is increasingly placed on the exporter (in health-related issues too). It is unlikely that the average insurance surveyor will have the required expertise in condensation issues, for example. In some countries this kind of specialized expertise is more easily obtained than in others; if shippers consider they might be at risk they could be well advised to determine in advance whom they could call on to represent them in case of claims. Compiling information for different importing countries on qualified, professional surveyors and other available coffee experts (surveyors may not understand quality issues for example, and a coffee quality expert may not be expert in transport matters), would be a useful exercise in collaboration between coffee trade associations in producing and consuming countries.

    In any case, when a notification of a potential claim is received, it is best to react with all due haste and in particular:

    • Inform your own insurance company, and the carrier, as a matter of course.
    • Obtain the fullest information about the extent of the loss or damage.
    • If necessary request someone (your agent for example) to visit the site.
    • If things sound serious, appoint a qualified surveyor to attend on your behalf, always keeping your own underwriters informed.
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